Must Every Character in Game of Thrones Die?

Major spoilers ahead but I’m pissed

All right. Game of Thrones, right? I won’t be giving you links to books nor HBO because I’m done with the abuse.  As a viewer/reader I have been exposed to enough violence for the sake of sales and ratings. I’m done now.

When Joffrey executed Ned Stark back in book/season 1, it was a moment of shock and horror, but it also moved the narrative forward and reminded us that not only can life be cruel but also that the good guys don’t always win. I continued to look on the deaths of central characters as necessary evils, allowing the story to shift through a cascading wall of players. But last night’s destruction served no discernible purpose in the overall storytelling. In fact, what happened pointed out the pointlessness of the story.

Admittedly, some of the carnage left in the wake of last night’s season 5 finale played into the various narrative threads, but I find myself wondering why those threads were set up the way they were in the first place.  For the sake of a good story? Or, simply for the shock value of a character’s brutal end?

It seems that the purpose of the books and the series as defined by George R.R. Martin and showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, sounds something like this: Let’s see how much the audience can tolerate and then let’s do more because you can’t have too much blood, guts and gore.

Thanks for the ride, but I’m sorry, gentlemen. It’s very likely I will not be back next season. Not because you killed off a character I still cared about but because you killed off one too many characters needlessly.

Wild Ride: All the Pretty Bones by Camela Thompson

All the Pretty Bones by Camela Thompson is a fun ride for the paranormal reader. Check it out. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Details: Things can’t get much worse for Olivia Kardos. Stalked for the greater part of 10 years by a psychopath, Olivia learns that she is dying of cancer. So where can a storyteller take the reader from there? Sounds closer to the end than the beginning. Au contraire!

Olivia decides that before her life is over she is going to free herself from the crazy man forever watching her; she’s going to kill him. Does she succeed? I’m not telling. But the head-spinning twists and turns this amusement park ride of a tale inflicts on the reader are significantly more than satisfying.

What I particularly enjoyed about this story was the way in which none of the characters is truly all bad or all good. Nobody gets away with phoning in their performance. Even the psychopath, though unsympathetic, occasionally comes off as sad as he is horrific.

I highly recommend All the Pretty Bones. It’s a smart book. Ms. Thompson posits a world where vampires and demons exist just below the surface of what humans are aware of, and she weaves them in and out, taking her time revealing them. I love the way she ties the knot tighter and tighter as we approach what the reader knows is going to be a complicated ending, then brings everyone on stage to play their parts exactly as she has planned.